A photoshoot to commemorate the birth of a newborn is a popular trend these days. From cherubic sets to even more creative mermaid-style get-ups, it is probably every new parents’ dream to capture the precious moments of their newborn in their infant stage.
I had thought of engaging a professional photographer but decided against it after looking at the high prices. Realising that this could easily be done in a more affordable manner, I decided to gather the help of my family and go the DIY route.
We decided against doing a shoot at home due to the “hurricane” of baby diapers and toys that have littered the place since baby K’s arrival. A hotel room would provide a relaxing and cosy atmosphere, and also a chance for my family to enjoy a well-deserved staycation.
So when a staycation opportunity at the Hilton Garden Inn at Little India presented itself, I gladly took it.
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The newly-launched hotel from the renowned hospitality chain boasts 328 rooms and a prime location close to historic temples and great shopping. It also offers affordable rates starting at about $150 per night and is touted to be baby-friendly.
For holiday-makers looking for a cultural stay, this accommodation is a great choice as it is close to the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, Little India Arcade, and non-stop shopping at the 24-hour Mustafa Centre and Orchard Road.
We informed the hotel staff that we were travelling with a baby and requested for a crib. They delivered it before our arrival at no additional charge. My teenage son was also very happy to know that the Wi-Fi service was also complimentary.
Up on the 15th floor, our room was beautifully designed with designer beds and a wide window with a cozy bench sofa where we can enjoy the skyline of Little India and the city. Bathroom amenities are from top-of-the-line skincare brand Peter Thomas Roth.
The room had a warm beige tone and a floral design backdrop which felt very inviting and relaxing. The neutral tones also made it ideal for our baby photoshoot.
Prior to the staycation, I had thought about the concept of the shoot. Cliched as it may be, but I just had to include feathers, bubbles, and toys as my main theme. I even brought a hotel reception bell as a prop.
The staff also shared some interesting spots around Little India to add a splash of colour and fun for our album.
Within the hotel, I found the room itself and the luxury chairs by the pool to provide the best backdrop for our photoshoot.
However, outdoor shooting was a bit of a challenge, as by then, my five-month-old baby K was getting cranky from all the “posing”.
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So after a few hours of photoshoot fun, my family and I headed to the hotel restaurant just next to the swimming pool, the Garden Grille, for a late lunch.
The restaurant, helmed by Chef Prabu Iyyakannu specialises in local and international favourites.
We tried the chef-recommended Wok-fried King Prawns which has the sweet aroma of lemongrass and the spicy tanginess of green mangoes.
Chef Prabu considers this one of his favourite dishes and he even goes to the neighbourhood markets personally to buy the ingredients.
The next morning, after a hearty breakfast buffet, we headed out again to capture some outdoor shots and chanced upon some colourful discoveries within walking distance from the hotel.
Every spot in Little India was worth posting on Instagram, especially at the recommended Umbrella Trees’ at Hindoo Road and ‘Residence of Tan Teng Niah’ at 37 Kerbau Road.
All in all, it made for a worthwhile staycation experience, although as a tip, it’s best to avoid Sundays if you’re not into crowds, especially when you’re pushing a baby around in a stroller.
Visit Hilton Garden Inn’s website for more information. The hotel is currently offering a discount of up to 15 per cent for advance bookings.
(A version of this article first appeared in Asiaone)